Gatekeepers: Keepers of the Road Map to Success

Many sales trainers and managers talk about “getting past the gatekeeper.”

While I completely agree that we need to be talking to decision makers to make the sale (it is one of the 4 cornerstones we use to close the deal–working with the right person), my experience has been that in some instances the gatekeeper is the key not just in talking to the right person, but in making sure your message is heard properly.

We often will spend time befriending gatekeepers, and gatekeepers can often provide vital information for reducing the time of the sales cycles. They will tell us when to reach the decision maker, how best to talk to him, what media he responds best to (i.e. phone calls, emails, office visits, etc.), who else might be involved in the decision, and many other important factors that allow us to determine if this is a good opportunity or not. We look at it this way, if we assume that the gatekeeper is something we have to get past or get around, that person becomes a wall, but if we look at them as a vital source of information, one often not respected by other people who try to talk to them, the implied wall comes down and they literally give us the road map for success.

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